We are also an Aussie couple with a 44' Helia we bought in France
in 2014. We had it delivered to Turkey
and since have made our way over a couple of months last summer along the south western Turkish coast and north through the Dodecanese. We quickly learned to avoid islands with mass tourism and try to anchor
or moor at the town quay. Much like many cruisers I guess, because of the huge nightly costs now charged in flashy Turkish marinas
, we avoid them.
Over the 14/15 winter we left the boat in the water
at Finike. We chose Finike because we wanted to sail up the Turquoise coast via Kastelorizo after reading about it on line. It was a lucky decision. The Finike marina is secure and well protected, nothing flashy but efficient enough and easy to get to by taxi from Antalya. The airport
transfer takes about an hour and a half and is not expensive. They have good toilet/shower facilities and a couple of chandlers that can do more or less anything needed. The best thing about Finike is that it has a very eclectic group of people from all over the globe that live on board. We didn't do this but from all accounts it is a friendly place to rug up in over winter. Not that it's that cold being so far south. Price
wise, it was very good value, definitely at the lower end, and far better value than anything else we could find along the Turkish coast all the way up to Ayvalik. If you are interested in the amazing history
in this part of the world and don't feel the need to change your t-shirt for dinner, it's recommended. The town itself is a bit shabby, definitely not a tourist magnet and only with a couple of good places to eat. Offsetting this however is its great working-town market and definite lack of pretence.
This winter our boat is in Leros at Leros Marina Evros. It's also a great facility with about 650 boats stored. It is very popular and consequently chock a block. Last year we left our boat there in July and August when we returned to Australia
, then after another month sailing up to Samos and Ikaria and back, lifted and stored it on land from October. We researched everywhere on the Turkish coast and checked out Pythagorion in Samos, but all were either more expensive and no better (in our opinion). In particular, the Turkish marinas, which although they looked really good, were super pricey for a cat. We could have booked a **** hotel
room for the same nightly cost. There are a couple of marinas on Leros and I can't comment on any others, but Evros is very good. Great guy called Harry who is friendly and professional, very good marina staff and technical stuff. If you have a big boat they can handle it with a massive lift
. The restaurant has a good view over the marina and is Good for coffee and a beer
but don't expect haute cuisine.
We are returning again in June this year and heading west across the Aegean. Hopefully we can find another place as good and as good value as these two.
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